When leading a busy life and running a business, time is a precious commodity.

And attending networking meetings of local business groups at times may not always feel like the best use of your time when you can sit at home and pursue your marketing and networking efforts from your computer.

But all successful businesses use on and off line tactics to attract ideal clients as well as potential joint venture (jv) partners. Social media networking is powerful, but it cannot replace face-to-face interaction.

Meeting other people and getting to know others in person, are great ways to generate warm leads for your business or enlist a strategic partner for life. There are many local business groups in your community that provide this opportunity.

Below are four reasons why participating in your local chamber of commerce is a great marketing strategy:

Networking Opportunities — Chambers of commerce have many luncheons, after 5 meetings, and opportunities to network that are designed for members to exchange information and use each other’s services. It is imperative that if you’re going to join that you participate in the networking and social activities that are available to you. Time after time members who participate get more out of their membership than those who simply pay their monthly fee and expect miracles to happen.

Establish Credibility — Studies have shown that 64% more consumers are impressed by chamber membership and are more likely to purchase products and services from chamber members than non chamber members. Anytime you can create a sense of goodwill in your target market, you should do it. This is one of the least expensive ways to establish good will.

Group Discounts — In some areas members have access to group insurance discounts and other group discounts that can mean a substantial savings for members. Advertising and sponsorship opportunities are also inexpensive and effective as most chambers have “Chamber Packs” that go out monthly to all members.

Member to Member Discounts — Most chamber members will offer discounts to other chamber members, this could mean a substantial savings to you for supplies, advertising, computers and other products and services that you need. Additionally, you can offer discounts to members too, which means more sales for you.

It is clear that your local chamber has many opportunities for you to make your mark on your local community from having a link on their site to your website, to being asked to speak or teach a class….all great lead generating strategies.

It’s important to get connected to others not only to support you personally in your business pursuits, but also to allow others to promote what you do. Establishing a sound local professional network from start up to launch and beyond is essential to long term success.

Author's Bio: 

Zenobia Garrison, the business success coach for women, is empowering professional women to launch a new solo business while working full time. If you are looking for more ways to create powerful connections and support to promote your business, grab a copy of my free ecourse.